Samuel woke up in the hall, but he didn’t think much of it; he sleepwalked every other day. He looked out his peephole first, as per his usual routine. Instead of seeing Sarah heading for her run, he saw her crying form surrounded by police officers.   

Half an hour later, he was in trial for the murder of Sarah’s husband, Victor Vans.   

12 hours earlier

Samuel focused on the slightly distorted image of Victor and Sarah entering the apartment just opposite from his. As their door shut, he leaned away from his own, wondering for the millionth time why he tortured himself every day.  

Before his thoughts turned dark, he busied himself with his chores. Every day, he had the same routine. He’d get up from whichever part of the apartment he was in and watch her going for a run. He’d shower, before spying her arrival. After breakfast, he’d watch her head to work. At night, he’d stay plastered to the door with one eye shut until she returned. 

After hours of tossing and turning, he fell into a troubled sleep.    

 ***  

Samuel couldn’t deny any of the pieces of evidence, not when they were clearly against him. They had found Sarah’s pictures on his phone, his fingerprints on the gun, and a strand of his hair in Sarah and Victor’s bedroom.    

He was uncertain of what he felt. How was one supposed to feel when they learned that they had murdered someone at the dead of the night but had no recollection of it? Disgust? Shame? Denial? Guilt?    

With more courage than he knew he was capable of, he let go of denial and prayed for forgiveness. His head was hung low, while a couple of blocks away, Sarah congratulated herself for a game well played. 

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
2 years ago

A well-planned, nicely executed story – very entertaining! Only one suggestion for improvement: It’s unlikely that Samuel would actually be on trial so soon after the murder. Maybe it would be better to say, “Half an hour later, Samuel was arrested …” He could be arrested quickly, but probably not on trial so soon! All in all, a very good read!

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
Reply to  Shreya Dhital
1 year ago

‘In custody’ would do?

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Leena Auckel
Leena Auckel(@leena-auckel)
2 years ago

Nice captivating story! I loved your description of Samuel’s routine, almost making the reader think he is the bad one. I could almost see Sarah’s smirk!

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Lyric The Great
Lyric The Great(@lyric-the-great)
2 years ago

I love the way you built up the story. When I read the first few sentences I thought Samuel wasn’t guilty, but then I read on, and switched sides. At the end, I was totally mixed up; you had an amazing plot twist! The plot of the story really builds up suspense. I think, if you added more to the story, it could even have its own screenplay!

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Oh my! I could not guess the outcome of the story till the end. I thought Samuel was certainly the killer, maybe in his sleep but you twisted the story so beautifully that I wouldn’t have even imagined.

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
2 years ago

Your story had me captivated from start to finish! Poor Samuel…and now I want to murder Sarah!!

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Karla Le Roux
Karla Le Roux(@karla-le-roux)
2 years ago

I absolutely adored the twist at the end. I couldn’t have expected Sarah to be the real wrong-doer in the story and you laid it out very well. Most readers expected there to be two options, he was innocent or guilty, however you brought in an entirely unexpected outcome of a third possibility which is Sarah being the villain. Very well written.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Reading first all of the comments Shreya, they are what every writer needs – feedback. I particularly like the comment by Fuji, and also your response, in that you took on board Fuji’s suggestion. Who done it in crime stories is always popular, because the writer leads you on a merry chase. I like the twist at the end. Carry on writing your crime and who done it stories, you have the knack. Well done.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

It’s like a murder mystery on tv, but the difference is you managed all the episodes in 350 words. That is an achievement!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Your story is so captivating. I love the way you made it. I also thought that Samuel is the killer but I was surprised by the switch. Nice setup.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Shreya Dhital
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Shreya and congratulations on your win.

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